The Economic Resource Center for Migrants and Overseas Employees (ERCMOVE) as a migrant-led organization is engaged in “brain gain”. It taps the personal philanthropy of migrants to be change agents in their home countries particularly in the communities from where they come. Migrants and overseas employees go home for vacations and periodic visits where they use these opportunities to share their expertise as visiting lecturers in academic institutions, in communities through NGOs, and as advisors to families and relatives. ERCMOVE assists organized migrants in host countries to donate their own funds or raise funds and link up with local organizations in home countries to implement joint projects e.g. to support public elementary school pupils’ needs concerning nutrition, school supplies and materials; to support cost of living allowance for poor high school and college scholars; to upgrade library facilities; to conduct environmental meetings and fora; and to advocate for a sustainable environment.
Poor people never run short of good ideas, but what they often lack is the means to transform their dreams into reality. Poor households’ access to credit, savings, insurance, and other microfinance services is essential. Microfinance services enable poor people to become entrepreneurs and investors, to protect themselves against risks, and to help cover unforeseen expenses arising from serious illness or loss of assets. Access to financial services is, therefore, a decisive factor in moving from the struggle for survival towards improved living conditions. However, in developing countries, 90 percent of the population remains excluded from financial services such as credit, savings, and insurance schemes.
The innovative services that fall under microfinance services are: microcredit, microenterprise, microsavings, microtransfers, and microinsurance. These are non-traditional financial services which are offered by NGOs in developing countries and recently adopted by banks and other financial institutions.
Inspired by the innovative microfinance services for the poor, ERCMOVE has embarked on a comprehensive program for migrants’ and overseas employees’ microsavings and microinvestments in host countries for two important purposes: firstly, for their own use in times of need, for their retirement and/or integration into the social and economic activities in the host countries; and, secondly, for use in helping others through microinvestments or microcredit in their countries of origin. Pooled microsavings and microinvestments of migrants and overseas employees can contribute significantly to the economic activities in the host countries. In the home countries, microcredit is one of the avenues through which microinvestments are put to good use at the community level in promoting local socio-economic development.
ERCMOVE is guided by the goals of the International Year of Microcredit and the MDGs:
- promote the contribution of microfinance and microcredit to the MDGs;
- increase public awareness and understanding of microfinance and microcredit as vital parts of the development equation;
- promote inclusive financial sectors;
- support sustainable access to financial services; and
- encourage innovation and new partnerships by promoting and supporting strategic partnerships to build and expand the reach and success of microcredit and microfinance.
In 2000 the United Nations launched the 8 millennium development goals (MDGs) to diminish poverty and the problems of illiteracy, hunger, discrimination against women, unsafe drinking water, and a degraded environment. Of these eight MDGs, ERCMOVE focuses on three: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and empowering women, and developing a global partnership for development. ERCMOVE aims to address these MDGs by raising microfinance awareness among migrants and overseas employees in the Netherlands.
For more information on MDGs visit http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
In order to accelerate achieving the MDGs, the UN declared 2005 as the international year of Microcredit. The UN defines Microcredit as “a small amount of money loaned to a client by a bank or other institution.” For more information on the International Year of Microcredit, visit http://www.yearofmicrocredit.org
Microcredit is not charity […] It is recognition that poor people are the solution.
- Kofi Annan
Former UN Secretary General